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Q. Is pain in the knee an HIV symptom?

Answered by
Dr. Meha Malhotra
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 22, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi doctor,

I had sex with a CSW. During sex, she rubbed her vagina against my penis. I felt like the penis entered in her vagina for a moment. Then, I immediately asked to wear a condom. Six weeks after this incident, I had a pain in my right knee. There was no swelling or redness. It resolved in a day. I did not have any fever or tiredness during this episode. Then again, after two weeks, the pain came back but resolved within a day. Can a pain in a single knee be an acute HIV symptom? I want to know whether the joint pain in acute HIV will be localized to one joint or it will affect all the joints.

Dr. Meha Malhotra

Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Venereology


Welcome to

  • Though joint pain occurs in HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), fever, malaise, and enlarged lymph nodes are more common in the initial stages of HIV. The involvement of a single knee joint seems unlikely.
  • But as you had physical relations with a CSW (commercial sex worker), I would advise you to get the following tests:
  1. Fourth generation ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test for HIV.
  2. VDRL (venereal disease research laboratory).
  3. Hepatitis B.
  4. Hepatitis C
  • Send the reports for evaluation.
  • If the joint pain occurs again and lasts long, visit an orthopedician.

Take care.

For more information consult an HIV AIDS specialist online -->

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Thank you doctor,

This incident I mentioned about happened 10 months before. The knee pain occurred twice within 15 days, but never again. There was no swelling or redness at that time of pain. At that period of time, I traveled by bus quite frequently, played cricket after a long time and ran a lot. The pain started all of a sudden and gradually reduced in 24 hours time. I do not know if it is due to my anxiety about an HIV infection.

Dr. Meha Malhotra

Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Venereology


Welcome back to

  • The knee pain may be due to physical stress, but as you were sexually active with an unknown person, I suggest you get the above tests done.

Hope this helps. Take care.

For more information consult an HIV AIDS specialist online -->

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